18th Dec 2014
This session of Congress has ended without passing any sentencing reform bills. We had hoped that this Congress would enact, if nothing else, the Smarter Sentencing Act, not to mention the other sentencing and criminal justice reform bills that we have discussed here this year. However, now that this session of Congress has come to an end, all these bills must start over from the beginning in 2015.
However, there has been significant progress this year on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. As we have discussed elsewhere, the U.S. Sentencing Commission not only reduced offense levels by two for all drugs, but also made those changes retroactive. These changes came into effect November 1, 2014.
We will remain hopeful that drug sentencing reform will be enacted so that mandatory minimums are decreased or discontinued and that the changes the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 has already made to the quantities of crack cocaine required to trigger a mandatory minimum will become retroactive.
by Viola Coulter